I'm trying to figure out what the Livonian character ȱ sounds like. As far as I can tell, it's a long mid-high unrounded back vowel. In IPA it seems to be written as /ɤː/ but that seems to be a non-standard IPA form?


1 Answer 1


The symbol [ɤː] is the correct one for the sound you describe and is a standard IPA symbol (although it's not a super-common vowel in the world's languages, but does crop up here and there).

There is also the near-high (as opposed to high-mid) back rounded vowel [ʊ]; perhaps this is what you were expecting?

As for what these sound like, have a look at this website: http://www.ipachart.com/.

  • 3
    I don't find that source reliable as it uses crowdsourced sounds. I recommend this and this, which are made by top phoneticians.
    – Nardog
    Feb 3, 2019 at 12:41
  • Thanks for adding these! Seeing Speech is especially good.
    – Miztli
    Feb 3, 2019 at 12:43
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    Although the English Wikipedia article says ȯ in Livonian represents [ʊ], the Latvian article, which is substantiated with more sources, says it's either [ɤ] or [ɤ̞].
    – Nardog
    Feb 3, 2019 at 13:03
  • I was under the impression that [ʊ] is near-back by default; is that not the case?
    – snorepion
    Feb 3, 2019 at 17:00
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    That is indeed what it is called on page 170 of the Handbook of the IPA; I was just trying simplify things a little (and in any case it does also get used for back as well as near-back near-high rounded vowels).
    – Miztli
    Feb 3, 2019 at 20:00

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